Thirty-two thousand eight hundred and seventy-four – that’s the number of days that my Granny has graced this world with her presence. You see, on this day 90 years ago my Granny was born. Ninety years – a life span that clearly laughs in the face of the Canadian average1.
It’s hard to imagine the life that my Granny has lived. Born at a time when insulin had only just been recently used to treat Diabetes, she lived through the Roaring Twenties, survived the great depression, witnessed the rise and fall of Hitler, saw the start of the atomic age, the moon landings, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, the introduction of colour television, the first computers, space shuttles, the fall of the Iron Curtain, the building and dismantling of the Berlin Wall, and the untimely deaths of Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, and John Lennon. She has lived through the administration of sixteen presidents. She lived during the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy, and Martin Luther King Jr. She lived during Woodstock, Watergate, the resignation of Nixon, and the amazing movement for civil rights in the US. She has seen both the terrible and amazing things that humanity is capable of.
I’m sure as a child she had no idea that she would see any of the things she saw. I’m also pretty sure that she never would have thought that she’d be the mother to two daughters and a son2 one day. She probably had no idea that those two daughters would grow up to marry and have children of their own – her grandchildren. To imagine that her eldest daughter would have a son and a daughter, and that her youngest daughter would have four boys was likely the last thing on her mind. To look beyond that and realize that those grandchildren would give her 9 great-grandchildren probably didn’t enter her mind.
And yet, after 90 years on this earth she sat this eve surrounded by her children, her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren; all gathered to honour her, to celebrate her life, and all the amazing things she has accomplished. But most of all, we gathered today because the love she has given us is beyond anything that we could have asked for. The lessons she has taught us, the strength she has passed on to us, the smiles and laughter she has shared with us – those things above all else are why we treasure the amazing and beautiful woman who I affectionately call Granny.
Thank you Granny.
Thank you for infecting me with a sense of adventure and a love of travel. Thank you for spoiling me with your cookies and pies. Thank you for taking me on shopping adventures with you (and usually spoiling me). Thank you for all of the movies. Thank you for encouraging me, and bragging about me to your friends. Thank you for being one of the most amazing women I know. But most of all, thank you for all of the love.
Happy birthday Granny.
1 In 1922 the average lifespan of a newborn Canadian female was estimated to be 61. In 2012 the average lifespan of a newborn Canadian female was estimated to be 83 years.
2 Who sadly passed away as a child.